By Confidente Reporter
CONCENS have been raised about the amount of beef measles cases detected during slaughter operations. Since operations began in January, there has been an average of seven animals diagnosed with measles every week.
Meatco’s Windhoek abattoir confirms that beef measles is a concern for operations because affected meat is not accepted in the EU market, which is one of the most lucrative foreign markets. It is a food safety issue and its economic effects on the company could be considerable if not addressed.
There are generally two types of infestation. Meat with low infestation levels is fit for frozen packaging, meaning the meat is frozen at -12 to -18 degrees to deactivate the parasite to make it fit for human consumption. However, a high infestation sometimes means that it is totally out of the question for human consumption.
Measles is a parasitic disease caused by Cysticercus bovis, which is a cystic form of human tapeworm. There are no visible outward signs of the disease and it is only detected after slaughter when the meat is inspected. The result is that the meat cannot be of the bush.
Should a camp or pasture be known to be infected with human waste, it is best to not allow animals to graze there. As a beef producer, it is important to implement, practice and adhere to good farming practices by taking precautions to limit exposure to cattle to measles.
Consumers are encouraged to buy meat from registered butchers and abattoirs to be sure that the meat has been inspected and does not contain measles.
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